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Below are student commonly asked questions.  If your question is not listed below, please call the Counseling Department at 805-922-6966 ext. 3293.  We'll be more than happy to give you the answers you need.

You are required to meet with a counselor to create a first semester plan in Degree Works.  It is important that you register with confidence and take the necessary classes towards your educational goal. To create a first semester plan, contact the Counseling Department for available drop-in hours at 805-922-6966 ext. 3293. 

The main idea is to enroll in the amount of units that you can successfully complete.  When deciding how many units to take, it is very important to plan time for reading, studying, and preparing for classes.  Below is the recommended formula to determine expected total study-time required to be successful in class.  RULE:  For every unit you take, designate 2 hours of study-time per week outside of class time. 3 unit class = 6 hours of study-time per week. If you are not working and would like to be a full-time student, you can enroll between 12 -15 units.  If you can manage a full course load, it can be an important step toward earning your degree and/or transferring to a university in a timely manner.  If you are working no more than 20 hours per week, you can enroll in 12 units providing you don’t have additional commitments (for example children, family obligations, outside activities, etc.). If you are working full-time, 35+ hours per week, you should limit enrollment to no more than 6 units. If you are unsure about the number of units to take, it is better to start slow and be successful.

We encourage you to check out Degree Works located in your myHancock portal.  Degree Works is an auditing and tracking tool which enables you to monitor academic progress towards earning a certificate and/or degree.  We strongly encourage you to schedule a counseling appointment to develop a comprehensive Student Education Plan (SEP).  An SEP is a detailed semester-by-semester plan that ensures you reach your goal in a timely manner.

If your goal is to transfer to a university, in most cases, you will take general education and major preparation courses.  It is important to schedule a counseling appointment to discuss the courses you should take pertaining to your major and universities of choice.  A counselor will create a comprehensive Student Education Plan (SEP) which outlines your transfer course path.  We also encourage you to visit the University Transfer Center for transfer support and valuable resources.  Note: If you have attended other colleges/universities, you are required to submit all official external transcripts to the office of Admissions and Records prior to scheduling a counseling appointment.

A comprehensive Student Education Plan (SEP) outlines all the courses you need semester-by-semester to reach your educational goal.  A counselor will use Degree Works to set up your plan and it is your responsibility as a student to meet with a counselor every semester to update your plan.  The SEP will help you stay on track and ensure you transfer in a timely manner.  Note: If you have attended another colleges/universities, you are required to submit all official transcripts to the office of Admissions and Records prior to scheduling a counseling appointment.

Drop-in counseling is appropriate for short, quick answer questions that are limited to 10 minutes.  Call the Counseling Department at 805-922-6966 ext.3293 within counseling hours to speak to a counselor.  Appointments are designed to address more complex questions, such as developing a comprehensive Student Education Plan (SEP), degree evaluations, transfer requirements, external transcript evaluations (official external transcripts from other colleges/universities must be on file in Admissions and Records), clarifying educational/career goals, long term planning and so much more.  Use the link below to schedule a counseling appointment.


Counseling appointments can be scheduled from our counseling webpage or by phone at 805-922-6966 ext. 3293.  At this time, all appointments are conducted via zoom or by phone.  If you selected a zoom appointment, a zoom link will be emailed to your Hancock email account.  If you selected a phone appointment, a counselor will call you the day/time of your appointment. Prior to your appointment, we encourage you to complete the following:

  • If you have attended other colleges/universities, all of your official external transcripts must be on file with Admissions and Records. You may confirm with the Office of Admissions and Records that your transcripts are on file and have been evaluated by the Transcript Evaluator prior to your counseling appointment.

  • Be prepared for your appointment by writing down your questions beforehand.  It will allow you and the counselor to make the most of your appointment time. 

Being on academic and/or progress probation is to be taken seriously.  We encourage you to attend a Grades Matter Workshop. The Counseling Department has developed the workshop to help you understand your academic standing.  You will learn strategies to get back on track and regain good standing with the college. 

Earning an A, B, C, or P grade in a class is considered passing.  If you earn a D or F grade, it is considered substandard. You may want to repeat a class in which you earned a substandard grade in order to raise your GPA.  This process is called course repetition.  When a course is repeated with a passing grade, the first-two substandard grades will be alleviated from your overall GPA.  Another strategy you may use to alleviate a substandard grade is called academic renewal.  Academic Renewal allows a counselor to alleviate up to 3 semesters of substandard grades from your cumulative GPA.  You must wait at least a year since the grade to be alleviated was completed.  Also, you must have completed either 18 units with a 2.4 GPA or 24 units with a 2.0 GPA since the course(s) to be alleviated were completed.  When work is alleviated, the permanent record shall be annotated in such a manner that all work remains legible ensuring a true and complete academic history.  An academic renewal form must be filed with a counselor.  All academic renewals are non-reversible. 

Once grades are final, you may view your grades through your myHancock portal.  Grades are finalized after each summer, fall, winter and spring semester.  If you feel you were unfairly assigned a grade based upon a mistake, fraud, or incompetence, you have 120 days from the day you were assigned the grade to start the formal process for a grade review.

If you are waitlisted for a class, you must check your myHancock email every day. An email will be sent to you once space opens in the course. You will only have 24 hours to add the course from the moment you receive the email.  Failure to respond within the 24 hour time time frame will result in being dropped from the waitlist.